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Camembert losing out in battle for France’s favourite cheeses

Raclette and Mozzarella are nibbling away at camembert’s position as the second-most sold cheese in France, new figures show

Camembert sales are down in France, putting the cheese at risk of being overtaken by Raclette and Mozzarella Pic: Nishihama / Shutterstock

Camembert sales in France are declining compared to mountain favourite Raclette and pizza mainstay Mozzarella, putting it at risk of losing its place as the country’s second most-popular cheese.

Sales of the Normandy cheese dropped by 10% in 2021, to 43,860 tonnes, the latest data from Kantar, published by FranceAgriMer, shows. Over the past five years, sales have dropped 18.3%.

Emmental is still the most-sold cheese in France at 148,757 tonnes but Camembert is now at risk of being taken over by Raclette (38,997 tonnes) and Mozzarella (38,545).

The latter two kinds of cheese have seen sales rise by 2.3% and 1.8% respectively over the past year, and by an un-Brie-lievable [sorry we couldn’t resist!] 55.4% and 34% over the past five years.

For the period from January 1 to September 11, 2021, Mozzarella even rolled ahead of Camembert, with 33,170 tonnes sold compared to 29,230 respectively. Yet, Camembert still ended the year ahead as the Italian pizza cheese is less popular in the winter months.

Behind Emmental, Camembert, Mozzarella, and Raclette, comes Bûchettes de chèvre (35,923 tonnes), Comté (33,130), and Coulommiers (31,352).

In terms of value, Camembert is already melting away. Last year, it sold a total of €319million (down 7.7%), compared to €330million for Mozzarella (up 5.3%), €389 million for Raclette (up 2.9%) and €1.1billion for Emmental (down 9.9%).

Despite the changes, Camembert is still top in terms of cheese typically enjoyed on its own as part of a cheese board or aperitif, unlike Mozzarella and Raclette, which are usually eaten cooked into a dish.   

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